Strong spirits: cheering or jeering?


Photo: PickPik

When was the last time someone cheered for you? Even if we're shy, and especially if we're not, at some level we all love applause.

In his ministry work, and following his miracles, Jesus consistently downplayed applause. "Please don't tell anyone," he would often say. He was not looking for fame. He had a higher goal.

But on one particular day, he accepted and even encouraged the praise of the crowd. On this occasion, he did not downplay his significance. He allowed his followers and others to cheer, and shout, and sing.

"A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven." When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
(Matthew 21:8-10)

"Some of the Pharisees said to Jesus, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples!' 'I tell you,' he replied, ' if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:39,40)

Jesus knew the cheering would turn to jeering. Before that happened, he wanted to make a clear statement of who he was, by entering the city as he did.

How about you? How do you answer, "Who is this?" Are you cheering, or jeering, or something in between? I encourage you, give him your praise!


Besides serving as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church, Gary Schwerin is the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

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